French march for gay marriage, but fewer than those opposing the law
Supporters of same-sex marriage and adoption marched through Paris on Sunday to back the French government’s planned reform and counter unexpectedly strong opposition from conservative and religious groups.
Police said about 60,000 demonstrators turned out, fewer than the 100,000 who protested last month against the law due to be passed by mid-2013. Paris’s gay mayor Bertrand Delanoe joined the march along with several other left-wing politicians. The organisers’ estimate, usually higher than that of the police, was 150,000.
Marching along to drumbeats and jazz music, the protesters waved rainbow flags and held up signs saying “liberty, equality, dignity” and “hate is not a family value.” One sign announced “wedding gifts for gays will boost the economy.”
Among their chants was “Oui, oui, oui” (yes, yes, yes) in support of same-sex marriage, adoption rights for gay couples and access to assisted procreation methods such as artificial insemination.
The Socialist government’s bill would legalise gay marriage and adoption, but not assisted procreation. Left-wing deputies plan to add that option to the law, a step President Francois Hollande did not initially support but has now conceded.